Rae & Louie

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I think a bag says who a woman is.

I have been on a life long quest for that perfect bag. And I have a laundry basket full of purses to prove that. Ones that I can't quite get rid of. Ones that are close but not quite. Strangely, the best of my purses were gifts. (Apparently others know me better than I know myself.)

This bag is a vintage Louis Vuitton Speedy Monogram handbag. I don't think you can call this a purse. This bag comes in sizes, no less. I have no idea what size this is. It has been dubbed 'Big Louie'. (Thanks Phil.)

For me who is a teeny, tiny, itty bitty purse kind of gal, it is huge. Basically right now I am a Kate Spade girl. The small ones.

There is a story behind this bag. Maybe 6 or 7 years ago my friends Nita and John came to Madison in an icy, freezing cold stretch of February weather. John, an engineer and in his late 80s came to take a class to keep his engineering license up to date. We met them and got them to their hotel and settled in. I must say I have never seen such a pile of Louis Vuitton luggage in my life. And I mean the big pieces. You know, the kind that my large 5 year old grandson could crawl into.

John would go to class and I would go and get Nita for an afternoon of lunching and shopping. We would meet back again after my John got off work and all go to dinner. Madison has lots of fun places to eat and all exceeded their expectations.

We were having 'the best burgers they had ever had' at the Blue Moon and Nita was bemoaning the fact that she wanted to get me something but didn't know what. I am all, 'no, no I don't need anything'. Then she says, 'I know, I will give you my purse'. I am 'NO, nonononononono no. Please no'. Those of you who know Nita know that Nita never takes no for an answer. At this point she asks the waitress if she has a brown grocery bag so she can dump the contents of her bag into it.

Panicked, I said I know what we should do. As of now this bag is mine but you should keep using it until someday when you do not need it anymore. Over the years I got to tease her about my bag and that I hoped she was taking good care of it.

Nita is now 94, and I went with 2 good friends to visit her in a retirement community in Iowa City. We had a lovely time and at the end of our visit she went to her closet and brought out Louie. We all got a little tearful.

Frankly, I am conflicted about this bag. I think a Louie bag says, 'I have money and I want you to know it'. And philosophically I have a bit of a problem owning a bag that is worth more than my monthly mortgage payment.

That aside, it did not occur to me that every time I use this bag that I would think about my dear friend who gave me her last treasure. And it will always be Nita's bag and never Rae's bag. So that makes it all OK. In fact, more than OK.

Thank you Nita.



Eat your Fruit & Veggies Dish Towels...


This week's dish towels are the "Eat your Fruits & Veggies" dishtowels. These dishtowels are available on Spoonflower in my shop. You get all 4 towels on one yard of 54" x 36" cotton, linen, canvas fabric. You just cut them apart and hem the edges. These made great gifts. I just sent a set to a girlfriend and also knit her a scrubby dishcloth in these colors using scrubby yarn.

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Last week when I showed you my Wilderness Dish Towels in Brown I forgot to show you how darn cute those patterns are in wallpaper...

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Not to mention the wrapping paper. This is year round paper and for Christmas just add red or green ribbon. I am all about simplifying. You can find this all on Spoonflower in my shop.

dish towels + jack and ella + free font


Wilderness dish towels in neutrals and browns. These are fabrics from the now completed Wilderness Collection. These were a birthday present for a girlfriend who vacationed in Alaska last Summer. They were a hit. These dishtowels are available on Spoonflower in my shop. You can also buy additional yardage for napkins too. If you are buying the dishtowels you get all 4 towels on one yard of 54" x 36" cotton, linen, canvas fabric. You just cut them apart and hem the edges.

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My friend, the talented Jessica, of Jack +  Ella Paper has a newly designed website and a wholesale catalog. Check her out here. Not that I am bragging or anything but I lettered her new logo and lots of my doodle illustrations show up on her cards. You can stock up here. I am my mother's daughter. Betty sent a lot of cards. She always had a box or two of all occasion cards to send on a moments notice. I sent 2 birthday cards this morning and have a get well card that needs to go out this week too. So much easier when you already have cards on hand.


I am going to send more newsletters. If you would like to receive one sign up on the right. (You can only do this on the computer, sorry.) If you are new to the list and would like a free font go to the fonts page and pick one out. Email that to me using the ASK RAE link at the top. Have a great week everyone!

Wilderness Fabric Collection is done!


Finally. I am excited to be able to show you this collection in its entirety! I've worked on this off and on for over a year. So it is good to have pulled it all together and finished it. You can see it all on Spoonflower

Spoonflower is a print on demand site. You choose your design, you choose your yardage, you choose the fabric you want to printed it on and order.

This collection was inspired by an amazing trip to Alaska several years ago. I also created a font Wilderness Doodles. Most of these illustrations come from that font.

These prints are offered as fabric, wallpaper and wrapping paper. The uses and combinations are endless. Any, or all of the prints would make a great quilt for your outdoorsman or woman. Wallpaper a wall in the man cave and add some throw pillows. Or a friend is using one pattern in this cabin in the bush... curtains, tablecloth, napkins. Options are endless. Pick just one pattern or use all one color or use them all together. They were designed to mix and match.

Coming soon will be dish towels. Four dish towels on one yard of fabric.




free font + interesting tidbits


Yup, that says it all. I am going to (hopefully) commit to a monthly newsletter. It may be a little of this and a little of that. But will include font and fabric info and an interesting idea or a printable or a DIY example.

If you are not signed up for the newsletter plz subscribe to the right.

Then go to the fonts page and pick your font. Use the FONTS link in the menu bar at the top to see the font library.

And email me your choice and I'll send it to you. Use the ASK RAE link in the menu bar at the top.

Talk soon.

Christmas voting on Minted...


It is Christmas time for any artist who designs Christmas items. Here my two entries in a Minted Christmas challenge. I am very pleased with both and I am creating a new script lettering style for my Minted work which I am happy with. Some of you have been asking how to vote. If you would like to vote here is the link.


And here is my second entry. And this is the link. Any votes are greatly appreciated. 5 is the best, in case you are wondering.

This week is a Spoonflower week for me. I have several new fabrics that I am putting up in their Animals by Land contest. Hope your week will be filled with fun and creativity too.

DIY coloring pages + animal fabric + funky cards

Lots of changes here at Outside the Line.

No I'm not moving to Paris. Or traveling the U.S. pulling a Bambi Airstream behind the Mini. Although I've always wanted a little Bambi as an office. Of course it would be remodeled in Mid-Century modern with an awning, and Tiki lights. Cocktails would be served at 5 pm.

But I digress.

coloring book page from outside-the-line.com

Books come from Amazon, not your local bookstore. Music comes from iTunes not a record store. No one buys DVDs anymore. We watch our movies at home on our big TVs.

And people seem to want to buy cheap fonts from sites that often do not monitor quality. I know I've bought some. You can't tell.

So I have decided to drop my font prices from $29 each to $15 each. This is on my site only. For the time being they will stay at $15 while I try and figure this out. Take a look, I have a large collection. Clink on FONTS in the bar above.

Above is a cool DIY idea using a selection of my alphabet and doodles fonts. You do need some skills and equipment to do this.
1. Create your page using my fonts in Illustrator.
2. Add a stroke of .5 to your copy.
3. Make your stroke black. Make your fill white.
4. At this point if you want to move something or make something larger go the Type pull down menu. Select Create outlines. Then go to the Object pull down menu and choose Ungroup.
5. Print several copies and mail them to your niece or grandchild. Everyone likes mail!

Finished pages are for personal use only. 


Here is my latest fabric on Spoonflower. And today I am featured on one of their shop lists! A customer just bought 12 yards of this popular fabric for his cabin in the wilderness. It is perfect for cabins, lake homes, or the man cave. It comes in many types of fabric. Start your Christmas sewing early and make the family matching flannel pjs.

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This pattern is also offered in wallpaper and wrapping paper.

new cards outside-the-line.com

New cards too. You can order a boxed set here, see link to the right. Or visit Hatch Art House. There you can also buy individual cards.

And it appears that it might just be Spring today. Go outside and enjoy, I am.

Art Therapy #19

As you know this is where Nancy and I send art postcards to each other.


These 2 cards are mine. Both are entries into the Minted/Target contest. I like them both but I really like the first one. I really like the shapes and color palette. Always hoping for a win.

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I really like these 2 postcards of Nancy's. As usual interesting and thoughtful. Love her poem too.

We have been doing this since after the election. I think Nancy is putting on her traveling shoes. There is a possibility that this may be the last post for a while. No matter what it has been a good ride.